TAMPA, Fla. – The roster is set for the 2013 Red Bull Wake Open, and 36 of the world’s best wakeboard athletes are confirmed to compete for this year’s championship. Athletes from nine countries, ranging in age from 15 to 32 years old, will take to the water in Downtown Tampa on July 5-6 to compete for the coveted championship title.
Red Bull Wake Open challenges athletes’ ability to
dominate in all three wake disciplines of boat, wake park and big
air. Malibu Boats will pull competitors in
the boat competition, and the Sesitec 2.0 cable
system will be used for the wake park and big air
competitions. A combined best score will determine an overall
Headlining the list of competitors is defending champion Raphael Derome (Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada). Derome, who resides most of the year in Orlando, dominated last year finishing first in park and big air and third in boat. Expected to challenge Derome are Aaron Rathy (Winter Garden, Fla.) and Harley Clifford (Orlando, Fla.). Rathy, nicknamed “The Dominator,” finished second overall last year while Clifford took home first in the boat contest and was third overall.
The past two Rookie of the Year winners along with the favorite for this year’s award are on the roster. Steel Lafferty (Clermont, Fla.), a Ft. Lauderdale native who earned rookie honors in 2011, competed with an injury last year but returns healthy this year. Shota Tezuka (Japan), the 2012 Rookie of the Year, is the first Japanese wakeboarder to make an impact in the sport. Mike Dowdy (Orlando, Fla.), originally from Pinckney, Mich., turned pro this year and arrives with high expectations. Earlier this year, Dowdy became the first rider to land a double flip in competition.
Crowd favorite Daniel Grant (Bangkok, Thailand), the 15-year-old sensation who electrified the audience last year with his innovative tricks, is touted to challenge for the top scores in both wake park and big air.
Red Bull Wake Open will award medals in all three disciplines – wake park, big air and boat - before crowning an overall champion at the conclusion of the competition. Additionally, for the first time ever in U.S. competition, a ramp-to-ramp park feature will be introduced, allowing riders to push the limits of big air competition. This announcement adds an exciting challenge to the contest as competitor JD Webb (Auburndale, Fla.) currently holds the record for the biggest ramp-to-ramp jump, a feat he accomplished in Orlando’s Lake Eola Park.
The successful inaugural 2012 Red Bull Wake Open at the Tampa Convention Center attracted thousands of fans on land and water, plus many more across the U.S. who tuned in to watch the live broadcast on NBC. This year’s competition has moved to the Fourth of July weekend and once again is free to attend with excellent viewing locations around the channel including the Tampa Convention Center and Knights Point at Harbour Island.
View the teaser!
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